Daring Bakers May Challenge – The Opéra Cake (Gluten-free)

Isn’t it beautiful??I’ll give you a moment to savor it. Admire it. Drool over it.Do you know what you’re looking at? Have you ever heard of an Opéra cake before? I know I never had! For those of you that don’t know about this cake, it’s an extremely elegant and polished French dessert that is believed to have been created around the beginning of the 1900’s. Many people credit a gentleman by the name of Louis Clichy with inventing the cake and that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as Clichy Cake. See, you learn something new everyday! :)This is the most involved cake that I have ever made. Before receiving this challenge I had never heard of an Opéra cake. I had never made any of the 5 components that make up an Opéra cake. This was ALL NEW to me! So, after reading the recipe, I was terrified. What had I gotten myself into? But, when you take one component at a time, well, it’s a piece of cake! :)

You see, to make an Opéra cake, you need a joconde (the thin sponge cake that is made using nut meal), syrup to flavour the joconde, a buttercream frosting, a ganache/mousse layer, and a glaze to complete the cake. This was our Daring Baker’s challenge for the month of May.

I am so glad that I joined the Daring Bakers when I did, because this cake was amazing! It is a very beautiful cake, and the flavours were fantastic. I’m positive that it is something that I would never make on my own. But, now with a little push, I’ve done it! I’ve completed it. I’ve eaten it. I wish I had more of it!

Traditionally an Opéra cake is made up of chocolate & espresso flavours, but for this challenge, we were asked to stick to lighter colours & flavours, making it a spring cake. I decided to go with lemon/blueberry flavourings for this cake. However, I liked this cake so much, I just may give the chocolate/coffee version a try one day! :)


Thank you SOO much to Ivonne, Lis, Fran and Shea for hosting this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge. It was most certainly a challenge.

To see all the wonderful versions of Opéra Cake that were created this month, check out the Daring Baker’s Blogroll.

33 Responses to Daring Bakers May Challenge – The Opéra Cake (Gluten-free)

  1. TerryLynnL May 28, 2008 at 6:31 am #

    Oh WOW, Jeanine!! Looks great doesn’t even seem fitting enough for this cake!
    I bet it was delicious. Great job!!

  2. Jeanine May 28, 2008 at 7:30 am #

    Thanks, TL! It actually got best after sitting for a few days. next time (yes, next time) I want to try to make the traditional cake, with chocolate & coffee flavours…mmm… :)

  3. Renee May 28, 2008 at 7:33 am #

    Blueberry and Lemon – what a great combination of flavors. I love the look of your buttercream. Very pretty cake!

  4. Y May 28, 2008 at 7:45 am #

    I love blueberry and lemon and a combination. Sounds very refreshing :)

  5. Susan May 28, 2008 at 7:51 am #

    I was extremely thrilled when Jeanine brought out this dessert for Mothers day :-} It was beyond delicious…Thanks Jeanine, Job well done..Mom

  6. Clumbsy Cookie May 28, 2008 at 7:56 am #

    That blueberry buttercream looks so good! I bet it tasted good too!

  7. sleepingbearinthekitchen May 28, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    Blueberry and lemon, my favorite combo, although after seeing this wonder I don’t think I will ever look at a blueberry lemon scone the same way again.
    For never having made any of the components before it appears you are a natural in the kitchen!!

  8. Lara May 28, 2008 at 8:29 am #

    Wow! I haven’t seen blueberry yet, this looks incredible! What perfect colors!

  9. The Opera Singing Chef May 28, 2008 at 8:38 am #

    Hmmm..mine was a diaster, but I might try what you did next time, even though I said I probably would not make this cake again. Yours looks awesome!

  10. katskitchen May 28, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    Jeanine, your cake turned out beatuiful! This was the first time I’ve heard of an oprea cake also! Definitely tasty!

  11. Angela May 28, 2008 at 9:34 am #

    Mmmmm… blueberry and lemon. Great flavour combination. Your cake looks delicious!

  12. Natalie... May 28, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    Ooh this looks excellent! I like the way youve decorared it as well.

  13. Maddy May 28, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    Beautiful cake! I love the flavor combo of blueberry and lemon and the fact that the colors pop in this cake makes it even better.

  14. pixie May 28, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    I’m always amazed by how spectacular gluten free cakes are! congratulations! VERY ELEGANT TOUCH WITH THE RIND!

  15. Vera May 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    Blueberries and lemon are so good together. The cake looks great!

  16. CookiePie May 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    Blueberry and lemon – what a perfect combo! Looks wonderful!

  17. Sarah May 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    What a beautiful cake – and gluten free to boot! I am impressed!

  18. dana McCauley May 28, 2008 at 6:07 pm #

    You did a great job! So glad to learn that rice flour can have these kind of results. Thanks for a lesson in gluten free cooking!

  19. Indigo May 29, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    Ooh that’s perfect… I’m jealous! I could just help myself to that top slice, with the blueberries and lemon… mmm, I love this cake.

  20. Lisa May 29, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    Wow – very pretty! I love the different colors with the blue!

  21. Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats May 29, 2008 at 6:34 pm #

    Oh this is a lovely cake! Blueberries and lemon – yummy. I’m getting so many ideas for different flavorings and presentations and the berries and lemon are on my list.

  22. madcapcupcake May 29, 2008 at 11:37 pm #

    Your cake is a complete stunner! – so pretty, I just love the colours, all those shades of cream and yellow against the blue, gorgeous!!

  23. The Irreverent Cook May 30, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    Oh goodness, you are totally justified in feeling proud of your cake…its a beauty!! Fantastic job =D

  24. adventuresinshaw May 31, 2008 at 12:31 am #

    Blueberry is an inspired flavor! And the cake is stunning. Two big thumbs up!!!

  25. Mara May 31, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    lemon & blueberry is one of my absolute favorite combinations, wonderful job and it’s LOVELY!

  26. Jaime May 31, 2008 at 10:18 pm #

    great job! love blueberries and lemon :)

  27. Vegan_Noodle June 1, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    I hope I didn’t drool too much on my screen!

  28. Brownie June 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm #

    Yum! Looks good! Loved that little bit of garnish!

  29. Fran Z June 3, 2008 at 6:26 pm #

    Oui, Oui, Jeanine, beautiful cake! Great job!

  30. shellyfish July 16, 2008 at 12:26 pm #

    Your opera cake is truly amazing! Bravo!

    • Sara W. June 21, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

      Hi Jeanine, I was looking over the directions as I would love to give this a try. Can you please review the portion discussing the white chocolate/ganache. Lemon is included as an ingredient and a liqueur must be left out?
      Thanks for all you do!!


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